5 Channel Listing Rules Which Every DTH, Cable, Broadcaster Must Follow

These new Channel Listing rules are part of the new Cable TV regulations.

Channel Listing Rules announced by TRAI
Channel Listing Rules announced by TRAI

Effective March 31st, old Cable TV rules will no longer be valid and every Cable and DTH user in India will have to comply with the new Cable TV regime, enforced by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

The original deadline for implementing the new Cable TV rules was December 28th, 2018, which was postponed to January 31st. Now, March 31st is the last deadline.

In order to help the consumers and to bring in more clarity, TRAI has issues 5 major guidelines for all broadcasters, DTH and Cable firm in India.

This means that broadcasters such as Star India, Zee, Colors, Discovery etc, along with DTH operators such as Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel Digital etc and Cable firms such as Hathway and SITI Cable will have to comply with them, as-as order.

Here are the 5 rules, which has been ordered by TRAI:


Rule #1: Compulsory EPG For All

TRAI has stated that every DTH and Cable TV operator in India will have to include EPG or Electronic Programming Guide for their users.

The inclusion of this guide among the main menu of the DTH services is part of the new Cable TV regime announced last year. TRAI has issued guidelines for ECG, as some DTH and Cable operators had not included the same, even now.

Rule #2: Highlighting The Genre Of Channel is Must

As per TRAI’s new directives under the Cable TV rules, every broadcaster such as Star India, Zee, Sony, TV18 etc will have to categorize every channel showcased in the ECG.

This means that no channel can be showcased in the guide on a standalone basis. There has to be a definition of the type of channel that it is. Popular categories include General Entertainment, Infotainment, Kids, Movies, Sports, News, and Current Affairs or Miscellaneous and more.

This categorization of channels rule has been mandated so that consumers can make an informed choice, and they are aware which category of channels are they subscribing to.

Rule #3: Consistency In Channel Listing

TRAI has said that under the new Cable TV Rules, the channels listed in the Electronic Programming Guide or EPG should have consistent categories.

This means that the categories under which broadcasters have grouped their channels should be maintained by the DTH/Cable operator, and they cannot change it for their own convenience.

Hence, say, if Star India has listed Star Sports as a Sports category, then DTH operator says Tata Sky cannot categorize as entertainment (just for argument sake). This has been done so that the consumers receive consistent information and help in choosing the best channels, across any and every platform.

Rule #4: The Listing Should Not Be Duplicated

In case a channel has been placed in a specific genre and category inside the ECG, then that channel cannot be repeated in the ECG.

Thus, one channel will have to appear only once in the ECG. To implement this, every channel must be assigned only one logical channel number (LCN) in the ECG, not multiple.

This will remove any confusion, and allow the cable TV user to choose one channel, only once in their basic pack ( Rs130 plus GST for 100 channels).

Rule #5: Logical Channel Number Cannot Be Changed For A Year

To further strictly implement the uniqueness of every channel rule, TRAI has stated that once a logical channel number has been assigned to a channel, it cannot be changed for a year.

This, if Zee News has been assigned a logical channel number, of say 101 by Zee themselves, then it can be only changed after a year. Zee News will have to be categorized under a category by the broadcaster (Zee itself), which needs to be showcased as it is by the DTH/Cable operator, and it should appear only once.

Do you think that new mandatory rules will help the cable TV user? Do let us know by commenting right here!



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